We traveled on the Volga river aboard the Russian ship, MS Zosima Shashkov from St. Petersburg to Moscow this past June (2016). Although I worried about many things (cabin size, meals, condition of the ship, any language or culture difficulties, etc.), it was one of the most beautiful, enjoyable, and memorable trips we've taken (and in the past five years, we've been to Paris, Rome, Edinburgh, and London). All the Gate 1 Travel guides and front desk helpers (Karina, Irina, Maria, Gayana, and Aiya) were fantastic and their Manager Tanya was absolutely incredible (she delivered my lost bag from the airport to our cabin door at 3am)!! The ship was immaculate (thanks to our daily maid Anna!); the cabin was really comfortable (there's more than enough room for luggage under the bed, a closet with hangers for clothes, a shower that really is easy to use once you get the hang of it, a refrigerator, and each cabin had a large window over the small table between the beds (each bed was probably about 3' x 6' or so...we were fine, but a really tall person might be uncomfortable). The meals were delicious (yummy vegetarian if you don't like meat, and your choice of water, wine, beer, or soda), served by really sweet and hard-working staff (thank you Sonya!). St. Petersburg, Moscow, and the four ports between (Mandrogui, Kizhi, Goritsy, Yaroslavl) were stunningly beautiful; and the captain and crew were the best (I was riveted to the side of the boat each time the ship went into a lock...wow! What expertise!) The Gate 1 guides all spoke English (some more easily than others) or French (we found that most Russians are given a choice between English, French, and (I think) German as a second language in gradeschool), and everyone we met was very kind in helping us. Shore Excursion Tours were very well coordinated with Gate 1 and local guides (we never worried about getting lost). As far as weather, St. Petersburg was a bit rainy when we were there (but still not cold...we wore long pants and rain jackets), and by the time we were headed down the river, it was sunny and warm. Don't miss Pushkin Palace and Peterhof Park, the Rivers and canals of St. Petersburg, Moscow by night (WOWOWOW!), and (absolutely!!) the Kostroma National Folk Show! Then there the Kremlin and Red Square and ....... I just looked at my photos and cannot believe how much we crammed into ten days! What a trip!! I'd highly suggest it be on the top of everyone's bucket list!